We had been together for years, and it only seemed natural to continue the relationship after I went off to college.
I was (and probably still am) a hopeless romantic, and I always believed that if two people were truly meant to be together, they would make it through anything, including distance.
We just weren’t those people.
We stayed together for my first semester away at school, but things were rocky from the beginning. We went on breaks, had arguments over text message and there was even another girl at one point. While reading all of this, you’re probably asking why we stayed together as long as we did, even with all of this crap going on.
It wasn’t always bad. There were beautifully blissful moments, fearless moments, simply sweet and stupid moments. There was laughter. Confidence. Enjoyment.
There was love, and because that love was once there, I knew I wanted to keep fighting to have it back until I couldn’t fight anymore. One of my weaknesses is that I don’t know when to quit, even when I see it coming.
I saw it coming when I moved away to college, and talking on the phone became more difficult to manage because of our conflicting schedules and lack of comparable topics to talk about.
I saw it coming when we went on a break for a couple of weeks in September, and when I came home for a weekend he admitted to me he had fooled around with someone else while we were on that break. I saw it coming when it stung, but I kept telling myself to just hold on because we can get through this. We always had before, and we always will.
We didn’t always get through it.
I saw it coming when he quit his job and left our hometown and moved 7-hours away. That meant no more weekend trips to see each other, because the distance had almost tripled.
I saw it coming when he became more upset with me about the little things, like being around a guy in the dorms (like you can avoid the opposite sex completely in a co-ed dorm), and not being glued to my cell phone messaging him when I was at lunch with friends.
I saw it coming when I came to visit for Thanksgiving, and when we looked at each other face-to-face for the last time, and I cried. And he told me that I was coming back soon, and he smiled and kissed me for the last time.
I saw it coming because I knew for some reason I wasn’t going to be coming back. Somewhere deep in my heart, something was telling me this would be the final goodbye.
I saw it coming when I went back to school for finals and we talked less and less as the days passed.
I saw it coming when I went to see my parents before visiting him for Christmas, and I got a little end of semester cold. I saw it coming when he told me “If you’re sick don’t bother coming down.”
I saw it coming when he would get mad at me for not getting up in until 3 in the afternoon even though I was on vacation. I saw it coming when he would pick fights with me about just about anything that whole week, until it got to the point where I didn’t want to talk to him anymore, and just wanted it to simmer.
I saw it coming when I stopped talking to him, because I had given up.
I saw it coming when I woke up at 11 a.m. the day of our break-up, the earliest I had woken up all of my vacation. I saw it coming when I sat by the phone, waiting for a text from him because I wanted to know we could calmly talk things out, and then I could see him one last time and we could end things amicably.
I saw all of it coming before he sent that final text, and I never heard from him again.
We haven’t spoken since the break-up text. The last time I heard his voice was in a fight. It was a dumb fight, at that. I hate that it ended like that, but I can’t change it even if I wanted to. I think we both needed a clean break from each other though to truly move on, and I understand that much better now than I did back then.
I hear he’s happier now, and I wish him nothing but happiness. I hate how we broke up, but not why we did. It all happened the way it did for a reason, and I don’t regret any of it.
I learned that you can love someone and not be meant to be with that person, and I can accept that. I also learned that you can love someone with all of your heart, and if you truly love him or her, you’ll wish him or her nothing but happiness, even if it’s not with you.
People think I should be angrier about how things went down, and honestly I’m not.
If he’s happy, I’m happy. I’ve come a long way since we parted ways, and I’m sure he has too. We were meant to live different lives, to have stories with different chapters. I knew it wasn’t going to be forever the second I left for school — but I wanted to hold onto the time that we had left, because I remember the good, even through all of the bad and the ugly.
Having gone through all of this, I learned how much of a gray area there can be in long term relationships, especially when key elements get changed around, like living arrangements and the frequency in which you see each other. Sometimes things happen, and you can’t change them, but you can learn from them.
Out of everything that happened, it taught me this much: The choices I make define me, and if I’m going to make my choices, I better be willing the defend and stand by them, because a lot of times, people won’t understand. And they don’t have to, because I tried as hard as I did for me, and I won’t ever say I’m sorry for that.